A properly done science-fiction movie pushes the limits of story-telling like no other genre can. Time travel has always been a topic for discussion among the nerds about the possibilities, paradoxes and permutations. We've had our fair share of great movies about this concept.
Let's travel back through time (ehm!) and take a look at the 25 best movies about time travel.
25. About Time
A young man decides to perfect every moment of his life when he finds out that all the male members of his family can travel through time.
It's one of the best romantic-comedy movies to come out this year. The concept of time-travel and the different paradoxes linked to it are presented with a dash of humor. The next time your girlfriend is nagging you to watch a rom-com, watch this.
A pilot has to travel through time and space to save earth and all its resources from depleting.
We live in a galaxy inside one of the plot-holes of Intersteller but the sheer ambition of Nolan helps it make it to the list. Hans Zimmerman's excellent background score is another great thing about this movie. Watch this if you want to see an accurate portrayal of some of the scientific facts and see them get shattered when Anne Hathway says "Love is the only thing that transcends space and time".
23. Star Trek (2009)
Captain Kirk has to become the leaders he was destined to be and get his crew to work together.
Star Trek is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood and JJ Abrams had the responsibility to reboot the franchise and bring it back to our attention. The reboot worked really well with Spock travelling through time and bringing the crew together. This movie is definitely the second best space adventure movie in the last decade.
22. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The X-Men were forced to travel through time and stop the Sentinels from ever attacking the mutants in this movie.
The franchise was taking its final breath during the last few years of the previous decade. Bryan Singer had already done a fantastic job with X-Men: First Class but with this movie he had made X-Men a profitable franchise that had the potential to go toe-to-toe with the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.
21. The Final Countdown
The crew aboard a modern aircraft carrier goes back in time to 1941 - hours before Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.
Kirk Douglas wins our heart in this story about time travel, resilience, bravery and human emotions.
20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter has to travel back in time to find the truth behind his parent's death and save his friends.
The third film in the franchise was scientifically sound with next to no loopholes and setting this sci-fi trope in a fantasy world makes this movie eligible for this list.
19. Somewhere in Time
Christopher Reeves hypnotises himself and falls in love with a portrait and travels in time to get the girl of his dreams.
It was a trendsetter in a time where the genres were rather mutually exclusive. Somewhere in Time tried mixing genres - comedy and sci-fi - and broke a lot of stereotypes.
18. Safety Not Guaranteed
Mark Duplass plays a grocery clerk seeking a companion to accompany him on a time-machine voyage to the not-so-distant past, and Aubrey Plaza is the reporter who answers his classified ad.
This movie tries to tell you that 20s and 30s are too early an age for you to start questioning your life choices.
17. Army of Darkness
Chainsaw-arm’d hero Ash Williams is sent back to 14th-century Europe, where his boomstick proves handy in fighting an army of the undead.
Bruce Campbell makes this one of the best comedies that deal with the idea of time travel. Hail to the king, baby!
This indie Spanish movie hints darkly that the only way to right the chaos created by time travel would be to commit horrifying acts.
The visual of a figure in the woods whose head is completely wrapped in a bloody bandage makes it the best horror mind-bender sci-fi movie in the list.
15. Edge of Tomorrow
The Tom Cruise action thriller was one of the most underrated movies in the last five years. He has to relive a day in the war against the alien species that is trying to take over the earth. This was a very interesting take on the action genre and it was the best Cruise movie in a long time.
14. Time after Time
This clever thriller posits that H.G. Wells actually invented the time machine he described in his novel, and that Jack the Ripper used it to escape to modern-day San Francisco. The Victorian author pursues him there, hunting the killer while falling in love.
This smart movie will have you at the edge of your seats because of all the literary references and the brilliant story-telling.
13. Hot Tub Time Machine
Four friends tired with their lives go on a weekend trip to their old vacation getaway to remember what life was like before everything went sour.
The humor may be on the raunchier side for most viewers, but then again, those are the funniest parts. A laughter riot about the paradoxes in time travelling is what the world needed and this movie delivered.
12. Déjà Vu
In Déjà Vu, a gruff ATF agent who’s spent his entire career trying to catch people after they’ve committed crimes and, like any good cop, would love to one day catch these same people before.
It abandons all logic and sense to play with time in a gritty, cosmos-sized sandbox.
11. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko crams love, weird science, jet engines, superhero mythology, wormholes, armchair philosophy, giant bunny rabbits and Patrick Swayze into a film that should be celebrated for its audacity more than its coherency.
It's a movie about doing what you want to do exactly when you want to do it.
For nearly half of the film, Jane’s journey is a science-fiction-less account of a trans-gendered person coming to grips with the secrets her/his body has held for so long.
If you've ever felt out of place in your life, this movie will strike a chord with you.
9. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Two high school kids are gifted a time traveling phone booth from the future, so they can ace their school project.
Technical rules don’t much apply here but the message is clear: a good friend will stick with you until the end of time.
8. Midnight in Paris
The movie has a struggling writer who enters a mysterious car at midnight and is taken back in time to the 1920s to hang with such literary idols F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
This Woody Allen movie is about running away from commitment, failure, rejection or practically anything that tests ones neurotically balanced norm.
7. Source Code
Our hero in Source Code has to relive the same day over and over again. The protagonist is given the responsibility of figuring out the reason behind a train bombing.
Source Code explores the reality of consciousness and the power of perspective, claiming that time may just be all in our heads.
The movie treats the concept of time travel as something which is normal but the majority of the movie is about how humans would use this technology themselves.
“If time travel is outlawed, only outlaws will have time travel!” This mind-bender is a brilliant movie and definitely Bruce Willis' best in a long time.
Two engineers use time-travel to make some fast cash, but greed and confusion soon take over, and the film unravels into a mess of double-crossings and alternate timelines.
This is easily the best conceptual use of time-travel in any movie so far. It is scientifically accurate with no plot-holes at all. Primer saps all the fun out of time travel but makes for a really compelling watch. You must watch it multiple times to understand it completely.
4. Groundhog Day
A rude, unhappy man who, after spending the day covering the news of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania’s groundhog celebration, wakes up to relive the day once more.
There’s no explanation in the movie as to why this happens, but Groundhog Day celebrates the hilariously mundane at the price of stripping the movie from the actual theory of time-travel.
3. Twelve Monkeys
In 2035, Twelve Monkeys glimpses Earth’s surface as contaminated by a virus that forces survivors to hide underground. Cole must travel back to the ’90s to stop this deadly virus from spreading, but, all of his plans get muddled up.
This dark gritty movie with the central theme of fate is one of the best works of Bruce Willis.
2. Back to the Future Trilogy
Robert Zemeckis’s trilogy is basically about Marty's adventure when he has to go back in time to make his mom fall in love with his father and then save the future.
If you haven't seen this trilogy yet, please do. This is definitely one of the most iconic and loved franchises in pop-culture.
1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Spielberg's last movie of the Terminator franchise saw Arnold come from the future to protect Sarah and John Connor.
This is definitely the best movie which has time-travel playing a key part in it. The action sequences still hold up and this is one of the best action movies ever made. We're still expecting that the franchise will be back to its glorious days sometime soon.
Did we miss out on any time-travel movie that is one of your favourites? Do let us know.